September 29th-October 11th, 2018

Come Celebrate 70 Years Back in the Land! (1948–2018)

Who Should Go on this Tour

  • This tour is from an evangelical perspective, with biblical teaching weaved into expert tour guidance.
  • We ask that everyone be of physical ability to participate in a moderately demanding tour (long flights, long tour days, walking).
Immanuel Tours

About This Tour

The 70th anniversary of the modern nation of Israel makes this tour a unique time to make a pilgrimage to Israel. Whether this is your first time or you consider Israel a second home, this is a special time to visit!

Immanuel Tours

Tour Highlights:

  • Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
  • Opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River.
  • Walking in Jesus’ footsteps at his birthplace in Bethlehem, childhood home of Nazareth, Palm Sunday Road, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb and many others.
  • See the included daily itinerary for these and many more tour destinations!

Point of Departure

This tour departs from O’Hare International Airport, however you are welcomed to rendezvous with the group from anywhere! 


About This Group

Hello Friends,
We invite you join our tour of Israel.  Sometimes you travel and see beautiful scenery that refreshes your soul.  Sometimes you travel and see sites that changed the course of human history.  In Israel you will see and experience both.  Your soul will be refreshed with beautiful scenery and you will see sites where events happened that changed course of human history forever!  We will explore the land of the Bible together. At each site we will explore the historical and archaeological information behind what we read in the Bible.  The Bible will come alive for you like never before.  Join us for a life-changing spiritual journey in this land where Jesus walked.
-Pastor Jim Ritcher

The Itinerary 

Saturday, Sept. 29

Depart for Israel.

Sunday , Sept. 30

Our group will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Meet and assistance by Immanuel Tours representative. After border formalities we will meet our driver and check in for dinner and overnight at the Dan Panorama Hotel , Tel Aviv.

Monday, Oct. 1

Caesarea – Mt. Carmel – Megiddo –Cana – Sea of Galilee

We begin this first day with a visit a drive along the coastal plain – “Via Maris” to the ancient city of Caesarea (Acts 10, 12), a city built by King Herod and which later became the seat of government for the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, who sat in judgment over Jesus and sentenced Him to be crucified. We visit the extensive excavations of the site including the harbor, the Crusader City, the Amphitheatre, the Hippodrome and the Roman Aqueduct. Then we continue our drive over the crest of Mt. Carmel, where the Prophet Elijah challenged the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40). Our next stop is at Megiddo (Judges 5; 1 Kings 9:15), the Armageddon of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 16) which by Christian tradition is the symbol of the final overthrow of evil by God. This will be followed by a visit to Nazareth, a town in the hill country of Galilee where Jesus grew up (Matt. 2:23; Luke 1:26; Luke 2; Luke 4:16-30) to manhood. We pass through Cana in Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle at the wedding feast (John 2:1-11). We’ll travel to the Sea of Galilee and along its southern and eastern shores. We arrive at the Nof Ginosar Hotel , located by the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.

Tuesday Oct. 2

We start this day with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Kibbutz Ginosar and visit to the so-called “Jesus Boat” Museum – a fishing boat of the kind used by the disciples of Jesus . From here drive to Magdala – the birthplace of Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2; John 19:25; Mark 16:9;), was a prosperous fishing village at the time Jesus was active in this region. The ruins of this Roman village are now enclosed within a wall. The archaeologists uncovered the remains of the village dating from the time of Jesus, and a Byzantine monastery. A mosaic floor featuring a fisherman’s boat was found at the place. On the northern shores we stop and visit the site of the Mt. of Beatitudes, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). After lunch we visit Capernaum where Jesus dwelt after He left Nazareth and where He performed many signs and wonders. We visit the ancient synagogue and the “House of Peter” (Matthew 8:14). We’ll visit Bethsaida, hometown of Apostle Peter and Andrew (John 1:14; Mark 6:45; 8:22). Next, we drive around to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee to Kursi, the “Land of the Gadarenes”, located on the Golan Heights slopes. It was here that Jesus cured two madmen, (Matthew 8:28-32). For our final stop of the day, we travel to the southern shores of the Sea of Galilee to the Tamar Kinneret Kibbutz grocery store. Here you will find the best “date honey” made! We arrive back at the Nof Ginosar Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Wednesday Oct. 3

This morning we drive to Chorazim (Matthew 11:20) , one of the small cities that Jesus visited but its inhabitants did not listen to Him (Matthew 11:21) . We continue north into the Golan Heights to reach the Upper Hula Valley to visit the Tel Dan Nature Reserve near Mt. Hermon. We find at Tel Dan streams of flowing water and the ruins of the northernmost town of Biblical Israel (hence the saying “from Dan to Beersheba” [1 Samuel 3:20; 2 Sam 3:10].) Our next stop is at one of the sources of the River Jordan at Banias, the site of Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:13-17:13), where the Apostle Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. We continue driving on the Golan Heights , passing a few Druze villages and reach Mt. Bental, located in the Golan Heights, overlooks Syria, the Golan, and Mount Hermon. The mountain is 1170 meters above sea level, thereby providing stunning views in almost every direction. In the 1973 Yom Kippur war, one of the largest tank battles was fought at Mount Bental. Although the Syrians attacked with ten times the number of tanks Israel had, Israel knew that this position was too important to lose. The Syrians eventually retreated, although the area between Mount Hermon in the North and Mount Bental became known as the Valley of Tears. We return to the Nof Ginosar for dinner and overnight.

Thursday, Oct. 4

Today we leave the Sea of Galilee. After breakfast we check out of the Nof Ginosar Hotel and drive south to the extensive excavations of the ancient Israelite city of Beit Shean. In New Testament times this city became one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis (Matthew 4:25; Mark 5:20; Mark 7:31). We then continue south, driving along the Jordan Valley to Ein Harod which is mentioned in the Book of Judges, chapter 7, where it is said that Gideon dismissed 22,000 potential warriors who were “fearful and afraid” and then chose 300 men to fight with him according to how they drank water from the Well of Harod. Followed by a visit to Quaser el Yahud . This Jordan River baptismal site is considered to be the most likely spot where Jesus baptized by John the Baptist. (Matthew, 3: 13-17) Elijah parts Jordan and chariot (2 Kings 2:8) & Israel crossing opposite Jericho (Joshua 3)]. Remains of several churches dating as far back as the 5th Century can be seen at the site, further emphasizing the sites significance as the actual site where Jesus was baptized and then started his ministry. We continue our drive to Qumran where the Essenes, a Jewish religious sect, lived over 2000 years ago and wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls. We drive along the Dead Sea , the lowest place on earth and arrive at the Daniel Resort Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Friday, Oct. 5

After breakfast we will drive to Tel Arad , one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel, on which were found the remains of a fortified Canaanite city and fortresses from the time of the Kings of Judah. From here we Continue to the “Fountain of Tears” , The basis for the exhibit comes from the book of Jeremiah where it says, “Oh Lord, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears that I would weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” We return to the Daniel Resort hotel early so that we will be able to enjoy a float in the mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea or enjoy the wonderful SPA facilities the hotel has to offer. Dinner and overnight.

Saturday, Oct. 6

We check out of the Daniel Resort hotel after breakfast and drive to the Massada Mountain Fortress, the scene of the last Jewish Resistance against the Romans in 73 AD. Ascend and descend by cable car. From here we continue to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve Park where David cut off a piece of Saul’s robe (1 Samuel 24). We drive along the Dead Sea shores and stop at the ancient city of Jericho . In New Testament times Jericho stood some distance to the southeast of the ancient one, and near the opening of the valley of Achor. It was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and celebrated for the palm trees which adorned the plain around. It was visited by our Lord on his last journey to Jerusalem. Here he gave sight to two blind men (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52), and brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican (Luke 19:2-10). We now start the ascent to Jerusalem, the City of God. Before checking into our hotel we stop at an observation point to take our first glimpse of the City of Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel. We check in to the Prima Kings Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Sunday , Oct. 7

After breakfast we drive to the Mount of Olives overlooking the ancient and modern city of Jerusalem, the center of the Biblical world. We walk down the “Palm Sunday Road”, via the 2Chapel of Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37f), to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed on the night of His betrayal (Luke 22:40-46). Next we enter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem through the Lion’s Gate, walking from the Pools of Bethesda (John 5:2-9) and along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Crucifixion site). From here we walk through the narrow streets of the old city to the Jewish Quarter where we will walk the Cardo , Jerusalem’s main street 1500 years ago. The Cardo was originally paved in the 2nd century when Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem as a Roman polis called Aelia Capitolina. We will also visit the Herodian Mansion where the houses of the priests who served in the Second Temple were discovered, containing beautiful mosaics, warehouses, and ritual immersion baths – all in one place. From here we head to Mt Zion where we shall visit the the Upper Room and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, the House of Caiaphas (John 18:19-27), where Jesus was interrogated by the High Priest. Finally we arrive at the King of Kings Congregation and join their Sunday Worship at 5 PM. We then return to the Prima Kings Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Monday, Oct. 8

After breakfast we drive to Herodian located south of Jerusalem and east of Bethlehem, on the edge of the Judean Desert, is one of the most fascinating antiquities sites in the country, it was built by King Herod the Great between 23 and 15 BCE, as a combined palace and powerful fortress. The complex was surrounded by a double wall 63 meters in diameter and seven stories high, within which Herod built a palace that included halls, courtyards and opulent bathhouses. Earth was heaped up around the walls, which created a cone-shaped artificial mountain. At its foot, Herod built a kind of royal ‘country club,’ including a large pool, a bathhouse and a roofed pool. Despite its desert location, the complex was surrounded by magnificent gardens irrigated by the pool. A special aqueduct from the area of Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem brought water to the palace. From here we drive to Bethlehem, the royal city of David, where Jesus was born (Luke 2). We visit the Church of the Nativity and the Field of the Shepherds where the Angel of the Lord proclaimed the birth of the Savior. Next we drive to Hebron. The Book of Genesis relates that Abraham purchased the field where the Tomb of the Patriarchs is located as a burial place for his wife Sarah. This was the first parcel of land owned by the Jewish people in their Promised Land. According to Jewish tradition, the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well the Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all buried in the Machpela Cave.

Tuesday, Oct. 9

Early morning visit to the Temple Mount, followed by a visit to the Wailing Wall, the holiest shrine of the Jewish world. Then walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, an incredible labyrinth of tunnels, arches and passageways which have remained untouched for centuries. We then visit the Davidson Center which includes the Hulda Steps and The Southern Wall Archaeological Garden. From here we walk to the City of David . We’ll make our way past Hezekiah’s tunnel (2 Chronicles 32:30) to the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the man born blind (John 9). We return to the Prima Kings Hotel for dinner & overnight.

Wednesday , Oct. 10

We check out of the Prima Kings Hotel after breakfast and our first stop will be at the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Golgotha (Matthew 27:33), where we will worship and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Drive through the New City of Jerusalem passing by the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament Building) to the Israel Museum and visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept and the Model of Jerusalem in miniature , the way it was in the time of Jesus’. Continue via Mt. Herzl, the final resting place of Dr. Theodor Benjamin Herzl, the modern Prophet of the State of Israel to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust History Museum and Children’s Memorial, the memorials to the victims of the Holocaust during World War II. We now depart Jerusalem and drive to the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17) we’ll visit the excavation site of the fortified city, Khirbet Qeiyafa, where gates and artifacts dating to the time of David (around 1000B.C.) were unearthed. .As we leave the Valley of Elah, we pass by Emmaus-Nicopolis enroute to Tel Aviv. Here we will visit Old Jaffa where we will enjoy a Farewell Dinner in a restaurant before checking into the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel for our last night.

Thursday, Oct. 11

We set off to the airport after breakfast to catch our homebound flight from Israel to the United States.


Trip Cost

$221000Per Person/Double Occupany
  • *Land Only. Airfare not included.

Included in the Tour Price:

  • A double or triple occupancy room (additional charge for single occupancy) in luxury hotels.
  • All sightseeing, admissions and motor-coach transportation on the tour itinerary, including a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, baptism in the Jordan River, and floating in the Dead Sea.
  • Touring in a luxury, air-conditioned motor coach with a Government Licensed, English speaking Guide with a Whisper System.
  • Map, backpack, and hat provided by Immanuel Tours.
  • Buffet breakfasts and dinners throughout the tour, with table water and possibly coffee or tea. 

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